Several civic groups visited the legislature yesterday to urge lawmakers to pass the draft national pension plan bill during the extra legislative session that begins today.
The Social Welfare Alliance of Taiwan, a grouping of 20 associations, and the Social Welfare Association, visited the legislature.
"The importance of the national pension plan goes beyond party interests and political ideologies, therefore we urge all parties to give the [pension plan] bill priority during the extra session," said Pai Hsiu-hsiung (
Pai said civic groups have been pushing for a national pension plan -- which would draw its funds from workers' monthly salaries -- since 1993.
The groups were received by 19 lawmakers across party lines who expressed their support for the legislation.
"Taiwan has the second-highest growth rate in terms of an aging population, but we don't have any social insurance to look after people in their old age," Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Jung-chang (
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Yang Li-huan (
"As people are having fewer children, it will be hard for them to rely on their children when they grow old," Yang said. "A national pension that accumulates funds while people are still young would be a more stable source of income for them during old age."
DPP Legislator William Lai (賴清德) said that a pension plan would benefit "around 4 million people who are not covered by any social insurance, mostly housewives.
Lawmakers from the Taiwan Solidarity Union and the People First Party also gave their support.
However, DPP Legislator Huang Sue-ying (
"The KMT actually controls whether the bill will pass as it holds the majority in the Procedure Committee," Huang said. "If the bill is not placed at the head of the long legislative queue, it's unlikely that it will be passed during the extra session."
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